Most customers are tempted to focus on the cheapest price when deciding to use a new supplier. On the other hand, focusing only on inexpensive pricing will harm you in the long run. This is because saving a few cents on the price of a product does not help if the standard of quality is low and the part or material does not arrive when you need it.
Identifying and connecting their firms with reliable suppliers has been one of procurement’s most important responsibilities. These sources must not only adhere to delivery deadlines, rating criteria, and quality requirements, but they must also be willing to repeat this process periodically on a long-term basis.
Finding a qualified supplier who can satisfy all of those requirements has never been easy. One of procurement’s core competencies—securing and managing the best suppliers—will suffer from trade conflicts, tariff issues, the increasingly global business environment, counterfeiting, parts shortages, and other external influences.
Since China is the primary manufacturing hub in the world, one can find every kind of product there. Whether you’re looking for Chinese suppliers online or offline the country has several manufacturers with customizable options. However, not all Chinese suppliers are trustworthy. Therefore, when looking for a reliable Chinese supplier always consider these criteria –
Destinations to Look for Chinese Suppliers
The first attempt should be to check online directories.
You can search for the suppliers in China on various online resources and discussion forum sites, but there is no guarantee that you will find the reliable suppliers. To get the best Chinese suppliers online, it is always recommended to go through the agents who operate from China.
On these websites, there are thousands of suppliers listed, and you may narrow your search and find more reliable providers by looking for listings with the labels verified provide, gold member, onsite provider or accredited provider.
Customer reviews give a hint as to the legitimacy of the supplier. Some B2B sourcing systems support provider blacklists and service supplier lists. Alibaba, for instance, provides a list of restricted users.
Some websites also offer exclusive services to customers as security. For instance, Global Sources provide suppliers with essential business information, such as business status, production capacity, and product quality. Be cautious that these sites’ listings of verified suppliers may only indicate that the companies have been confirmed to exist, it does not necessarily imply that their reputation, production capacity, or level of quality has been verified.
Furthermore, despite the fact that many websites offer enormous directories of Chinese suppliers online, some are dealers or wholesalers rather than manufacturers. You should strive to conduct your due research on potential suppliers because dealers and wholesalers won’t offer you the best bargain.
In general, social media platform isn’t the best place to find Chinese suppliers online. Only a few suppliers are active on social media, but they can be a good source for feedback or reviews of potential suppliers. Be extra cautious while using such platforms and remember to conduct your research because the information offered is frequently speculative, the reviews are generally from personal accounts, and the sample sizes are also small.
Trade Shows and Fairs
This can be a great way to meet potential manufacturers and suppliers locally and in China, if you value face-to-face interactions and not much rely on Chinese suppliers online. Attending such fairs will give you a better idea of the enormous scale, comprehensive product line, and availability of products that make China the world’s highest-producing country.
There are several trade fairs in China, both small and large, but businesses should focus on only the biggest trade fair organized in China because it has an established global reputation for bringing together buyers and merchants from all over the world. for example, the Canton Fair, Yiwu Market, and other trade shows.
You should seek assistance from a China sourcing agent with sourcing knowledge if buying directly from a supplier seems like too much trouble and risk. These agents will streamline communications and help determine and verify suppliers. They charge a minimal amount as their commission fees.
While sourcing agencies may handle some of the major tasks, such as identifying and validating suppliers, you are still required to remain actively involved in the acquisition deals. Sourcing agents appear to tackle tasks necessary to efficiently manage production and internal control, as well as to ensure that specific transactions are carried out at a reasonable cost. The good news is that after working with sourcing agents occasionally and becoming familiar with the process, you’ll eventually manage your deals without their assistance.
Network in the Industry
You may be able to find Chinese suppliers online, but referrals from friends and family are the simplest and safest method for getting trustworthy suppliers. Due to the services, they experienced, these recommendations are reliable, and you’re likely to have a similar experience. Therefore, it is always advisable to expand your network to ask for any supplier recommendations they have previously used.
If you’ve tried reaching out beyond your network without success, personal groups on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and online forums are other great referral sources. These are excellent possibilities because many teams have comparable business goals.
Tips to Identify Quality Suppliers
- When it comes to certifications of supplier quality, many consumers have minimum requirements. A reliable supplier will let you examine and confirm their credentials.
- International sources may provide low prices, but labour relations or political instability may prevent you from getting the product you need. Spend some time thoroughly analysing the possibility of instability in the regions if you have found a supplier in that region.
- You must determine if you want a single warehouse or a multi-location provider, depending on your production demands. You can bargain with a smaller company with a single location for a significantly better price or use several providers to meet your needs.
- It could be useful to have access to your supplier’s inventory. It demonstrates their dedication to you as a client and their capacity to deliver what you need when you need it.
- Delivery on time is crucial to industrial customers, thus compare their leadtime to the percentage of on-time deliveries. If these cannot be delivered, likely, they are not fully committed or appear to be lacking in quality.
The parameters mentioned above can get you the best suppliers online or offline. If you feel language and location can be the biggest barrier, find a sourcing agent to help you.